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Built for impact: The Global Sustainability Trust is designed to deliver positive social and environmental change


roger pim

Global Head of Private Markets, Roger Pim explains how the new trust aims to generate long term capital growth by investing in a diversified portfolio of investments intended to create positive, measurable environmental and social impact



The Global Sustainability Trust’s remit is to accelerate the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals and it is highly diversified both in terms of its areas of intended impact and what it invests in.

The fund is constructed around eight ‘impact pillars’: the Circular Economy, Sustainable Energy, Food & Agriculture, Water & Sanitation, Health & Social Care, Financial Inclusion, Sustainable Real Estate & Infrastructure, and Education & Employment.

It invests in five distinct private markets: private equity, infrastructure, real estate, natural resources and private credit and is unique both in terms of the breadth of its target impact and the range of private markets it invests in.

‘unique both in terms of the breadth of its target impact and the range of private markets it invests in’

Such comprehensive coverage is only possible because Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) is one of the world’s leading top 10 investors with 400 private market investment professionals, managing over £67bn around the world; people on the ground, building relationships and generating a strong pipeline of opportunities.

Crucially, ASI already embeds environmental, social and governance considerations across its investments and more than 30 ESG specialists have the experience and resources required to analyse the impact potential of any opportunity.

Our investment approach varies widely; in private equity, we invest in funds run by impact managers with specific expertise, or co-invest alongside them. We identify managers with specific skills in the impact space – healthcare, clean energy or the circular economy – pioneering more efficient use and recovery of resources and materials.

‘we adopt a direct approach as we have strong investment expertise’

In real estate and infrastructure we adopt a direct approach as we have strong investment expertise; in real estate we identify opportunities to deliver positive environmental and social impact by improving existing buildings or developing new, innovative ones.

Infrastructure is a key component to the portfolio given the positive impacts that can be generated from social infrastructure – hospitals, roads and schools – and economic infrastructure such as recycling and renewable energy.

We will invest both directly and indirectly in natural resources via funds into areas such as timber, water and agriculture; in private credit, we’ll invest in debt provided directly to businesses including asset-backed loans, subordinated debt and special situations such as microfinancing low-income communities.


Portfolio construction and turnover


Each quarter ASI Private Markets provides a macro-economic outlook on markets and sectors and drills down into each private asset class to identify the most attractive opportunities by region in, e.g. social infrastructure, private equity or real estate.

This informs ideas and asset, market and sector allocation in the portfolio; to manage volatility we assess allocation across currencies, markets and sectors from a risk perspective to manage correlations and over-concentrations.

‘drills down into each private asset class to identify the most attractive opportunities’

We target broad but flexible exposure across the eight impact pillars; weighting depends on the attractiveness of the opportunities and will fluctuate as we enter and exit investments.

The focus on less liquid private markets means our investments will tend to be long term. Private equity and real estate investments average 5 to 7 years, infrastructure investments up to 20 years and private credit can vary from 3 months for microfinance to 10 years for real estate or infrastructure projects.

Once the trust is mature, we expect to see 10-20% of the portfolio’s net asset value turned into cash each year; continuous turnover allows us to invest in new opportunities and maximise our social and environmental impact.


Is the trust aimed at a particular type of investor?


The Global Sustainability Trust is a mainstream fund – not a niche investment – designed to tap into the huge appetite that exists from investors to use capital to make a positive difference; it is important that it delivers a highly diversified global portfolio that can act as a core holding for a private investor.

The trust provides one-stop exposure both to private markets and the full spectrum of social and environmental impact opportunities; we believe it is a compelling vehicle to take impact investing into the mainstream. For more information about typical investors click here.


For more information, access to all key documents and terms and conditions or to subscribe to this offer click here:




Important Information – see a detailed risk warning here

The value of investments and the income from them can fall and you may get back less than the amount invested; past performance is not a guide to future results.

The Company’s investments may not achieve the desired positive measurable environmental and/or social impact; they are inherently illiquid.

Investment in the Company may not be appropriate if you plan to withdraw your money within 5 years; there is no guarantee that the market price of the Company’s shares will fully reflect their underlying Net Asset Value.

An investment in the Company is only suitable for investors capable of evaluating the merits and risks of such an investment and with sufficient resources to bear any loss which might result.

There can be no assurance that the Investment Manager will be able to acquire and realise investments in accordance with the Company’s investment objective or that the Company will be able to generate any investment returns for Shareholders or avoid investment losses.


The Global Sustainability Trust plc was incorporated and registered in Scotland on 17 April 2018 as a public company limited by shares under the Companies Act with registered number SC594582; it is an alternative investment fund for the purposes of the AIFM Directive and has appointed Aberdeen Fund Managers Limited as its alternative investment fund manager.

Issued by Aberdeen Asset Managers Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Registered Office: 10 Queen’s Terrace, Aberdeen AB10 1XL. Registered in Scotland No. 108419.

An investment company should be considered only as part of a balanced portfolio. Under no circumstances should this information be considered as an offer or solicitation to deal in investments. We recommend that you seek financial advice prior to making an investment.



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